A New Site to Check Out

I was contacted by a young man named Lucas who has earned his Railroading merit badge in Boy Scouts. I understand that he used my Blog to help him in this achievement.

Congratulations, Lucas. I am very pleased that I was able to be of some assistance.

Lucas also suggested that people in the hobby might want to check out another website that contains a lot of useful information, including links. Check it out here: Model Railroads & Freight Cars

Switching Layout - Part 5 - Components of Layout Top

As my woodworking workshop is located at my main home in Regina, SK but the switching layout is to be built for the den in my two-bedroom condo in West Kelowna, BC, my design must allow me to make components in my workshop and assemble them to make sure that the design works. I will then dismantle and carefully label all components and then take them with me to BC where I will assemble everything.

In Part 4 I shared drawings of the components of the end guides that will be attached to the walls at each end of the layout, using components that are easy to assemble, disassemble and then travel with. The layout top which is to be 11 feet long and 28 inches wide is a bit more complicated - because of its size. I shall cut all the wood at home but will wait and purchase the rigid foam insulating board in Kelowna to cut down on the quantity of materials I will need to transport. The foam board can be easily cut with an Olfa knife or box cutter.

These drawings show my intended design:

Switching Layout - Part 4 - Design of End Guides

Following are additional details regarding the design of the end guides in which the 2 inch nylon garage door rollers will travel:

Switching Layout - Part 3 - Storage Mechanism

In Part 1 I said that one of my criteria for this switching layout is that, when stored, it must not occupy a lot of floor space. I have come up with a plan that will occupy an area along one of the 11 foot walls in the den and, when stored, will protrude into the room a distance of no further than 15 inches.

In the following drawing, the various colours depict:

  • yellow - hinged countertop
  • blue - front edge of cabinetry (affixed to the front will be standard kitchen cabinet doors)
  • pink - the layout top (to be made of solid pink foam insulation board, 1 1/2 inches thick
  • light brown - the wood supporting structure underneath the pink foam insulation board
  • dark brown disks - 2 inch nylon garage door rollers that will be mounted in 2 inch x 3 inch (nominal) dimensional lumber
  • blue disk (barely visible in the top-right vicinity of the structure) - wheels that will be mounted in several locations along the top front of the front edge of the cabinetry; the layout will rest on these wheels when deployed to prevent sagging of the 11 foot long layout top.
  • orange-brown - 2 inch x 2 inch (nominal) dimensional lumber to be mounted on 3/4 inch plywood fastened to the walls on each end of the room. This will serve as guides within which the nylon garage door rollers will travel when raising and lowering the layout.
  • scale model buildings are depicted in various colours.

The following drawing shows the layout in its operational position:

This is a short video showing how the layout will be raised and lowered:


Switching Layout - Part 2 - Track Plan

 I have devised the following track plan for my switching layout:

Length = 10 ft. 11 3/4 in.

Width = 28 in.

HO Scale.

Turnouts (hand made):

  • 11 x left-hand #5 Fast Tracks turnouts
  • 4 x right-hand #5 Fast Tracks turnouts
  • 1 x curved 36-24 #6 Fast Tracks turnouts
Crossings (hand made):
  • Fast Tracks 30-degree crossing
Turnout control:
  • 16 x Bullfrog (by Fast Tracks) manual turnouts
Buildings to be all scratch-built.

This is a larger image, turned on its side: